WonderWorks Orlando Takes Magic Comedy Dinner Show to New Heights

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WonderWorks magician using flamethrower props on stage at dinner show

Those visiting Orlando who love magic will not want to miss The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show at WonderWorks. The indoor amusement park is taking the long-running magic comedy show to a whole new level, by using technology to create more interaction with the audience.

While previously only a small group of people would get the interactive experience, the new technology allows the whole audience become part of the show.  Plus, world-renowned magician Tony Brent will be thrilling crowds with more magic, and a straightjacket reenactment.

“Our fans loved the magic comedy show before, but now it’s going to be even more interactive and exciting,” explains Brian Wayne, general manager of WonderWorks Orlando. “This is a show that all ages can enjoy. It’s funny, it’s magical, and it’s an amazing experience for all who attend.”

The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show will be adding the new close up experience starting the last week of June 2019. The new elements will include mind-bending magic that the whole family will enjoy. The magic in the show will become more “magical” and make the show an even more amazing experience for all. Additional new elements for the dinner show include:

  • There will be three shows per day all month of July 2019, including at 4 pm, 6 pm, and 8 pm.
  • Tony Brent will reenact the famous and legendary feat by the world’s most famous magician, Harry Houdini, dating back to the early 1900’s. He will present the “Straightjacket Escape,” giving the audience a full view of the escape.
  • Dinner show guests can enjoy a delicious meal of unlimited hand-tossed pizza that is made fresh in-house, as well as salad, dessert, and unlimited drinks, including beer and wine.

“This is going to be an exciting time to see the magic comedy dinner show,” added Wayne. “Combining great food with a world-class magic show is going to give people a one-of-a-kind experience. We look forward to seeing the smilesWonderWorks magician onstage with young boy from audience involved in his magic act and good vibes this show creates for all who attend.”

Tony Brent is the star and producer of The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, which is the longest running magic dinner show in the world. His show combines magic tricks, comedy, audience participation, and more. The show was named “One of America’s Ten Best Magic Shows” by the Travel Channel.

WonderWorks in Orlando is an adventure that tourists and locals both enjoy. The indoor amusement park is open 365 days per year from 9:00 a.m. until midnight. WonderWorks features a glow-in-the-dark ropes course, laser tag, 4D XD motion theater, magic comedy dinner show, and the Wonder Zones, which include interactive exhibits on natural disasters, space discovery, light and sound zone, imagination lab, far out art gallery, and a physical challenge zone. With over 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment,” the attraction combines education and entertainment with over 100 hands-on exhibits. To get more information or purchase tickets, visit the site at: wonderworksonline.com/orlando/.

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks the upside-down adventure is a science-focused indoor amusement park for the mind that holds something unique and interesting for visitors of all ages. Guests enter through an upside-down lobby with the ceiling at their feet and the ground above their head and must pass through an inversion tunnel to be turned right side up. There are three floors of nonstop “edu-tainment,” with over 100 hands-on and interactive exhibits that serve a STEM educational purpose to challenge the mind and spark the imagination. WonderWorks Orlando is also home to The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show. WonderWorks has locations in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach, and Syracuse. For more information, visit the site wonderworksonline.com/orlando/.

Cyber Security Awareness Training for all Ages in Delaware

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image of a breakout box on a table

Children and adults in Sussex County are now getting hands-on cyber security awareness training at the Selbyville library thanks to Cyber Streets and the library itself.

Cyber Streets is a nonprofit organization that was started in Dover back in 2017. Founder Rob Bentley began spreading the knowledge at the Selbyville Library on June 3rd and he now runs the program there every other Monday. The Sussex County Stem Alliance helped connect Bentley to volunteers and this week they’re using what is called the ‘break out box’ to learn how cyber security is used to break into something.

“They go around looking for clues,” Bentley explains. “They find those clues, put them together, and work together as teams to crack the code on the puzzle that actually unlocks the locks to get into the box.”

Thirteen-year-old Eleni Apostolidis of Millsboro has been homeschooled her entire life. She’s thankful for an after-school opportunity that is available to students like her. “It can teach us coding if we want to maybe look into the community a bit more to find tools to maybe create our own software in the future,” she shares.

Most of the students who’ve been attending in Selbyville are homeschooled students but Cyber Streets is open to anyone. Bentley says he teaches people from six to sixty-years-old. In fact, many parents join their kids in these lessons.

The program is completely free. To sign up in Selbyville, reach out to the library or Cyber Streets. Bentley says those interested in attending can simply show up to the next lesson on July 29.

Continue on to WBOC.com to read the complete article.

Cmd-It Announces 2019 Richard A. Tapia Award Winner Cristina Villalobos

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Cristina Villalobos poses in a gray blazer and red blouse

CMD-IT recently announced the recipient of The Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversifying Computing is Cristina Villalobos, the Myles and Sylvia Aaronson Professor in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Founding Director of the Center of Excellence in STEM Education.

The Richard A. Tapia Award is given annually to an individual who is a distinguished computational or computer scientist or computer engineer and who is making significant contributions to civic areas such as teaching, mentoring, advising, and building and serving communities. The individual is also one who demonstrates extraordinary leadership in increasing the participation of groups who are underrepresented in the sciences.

“Cristina Villalobos is a leading mathematician in the fields of optimization, optimal control and modelling,” said Valerie Taylor, CMD-IT CEO and President. “Throughout her career she has significantly impacted different applications areas through her research in optimization; impacting areas such as the treatment of eye disease and the design of antennas. In addition, Cristina has focused on strengthening STEM academic programs, providing resources for the academic and professional development of students and faculty, and increasing the number of underrepresented students attaining STEM degrees. She has been a leader in student mentoring, increasing the number of Hispanic students pursuing PhD’s in mathematics.”

The Richard A. Tapia award will be presented at the 2019 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference. Themed “Diversity: Building a Stronger Future,” the Tapia Conference will be held September 18-21, in San Diego, California. The Tapia Conference is the premier venue to bring together students, faculty, researchers and professionals from all backgrounds and ethnicities in computing to promote and celebrate diversity in computing. The Tapia Conference is sponsored by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and presented by the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT).

The Tapia conference sponsors include Diamond Sponsor Qualcomm, Platinum Sponsors Caltech, Cornell Computing and Information Science, Georgia Tech, JP Morgan Chase & Co, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Rice University, Stanford University Computer Science, STARS Computing Corps, Two Sigma, University of California Berkeley, University of California San Diego Science and Engineering Department, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, and University of Michigan. Gold Sponsors include Atlassian, Blendoor, Capital One, Cisco, CRA, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Google, Harvey Mudd College, Kennesaw State University, University of Maryland, College Park, University of North Carolina Charlotte and Virginia Tech. Gold Government Supporters include Argonne National Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory.

The early bird pricing for the Tapia Conference ends July 8th. For more information and to register for the Tapia Conference, visit tapiaconference.org.

About CMD-IT

The vision of CMD-IT is to contribute to the national need for an effective workforce in computing and IT through inclusive programs and initiatives focused on minorities and people with disabilities. CMD-IT’s vision is accomplished through its mission to ensure that underrepresented groups are fully engaged in computing and IT, and to promote innovation that enriches, enhances and enables underrepresented communities. For more information, please visit cmd-it.org.

Why Aren’t More Women in Computer Science?

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By Suzanne Weston

Until 1984, growth of women entering professions including physical sciences, law, medicine, and computer science was steady, but then something changed. After the introduction of personal computers, the percentage of women in computer science flattened and then plunged, even though the number of professional women kept rising.

Initially, personal computers were toys used for playing simple games, marketed directly to boys and men. While both genders are equally talented in logic and problem solving, boys were given computers more often than girls. And boys were more comfortable when teachers started using computers in the classroom.

Teachers have a significant influence on students’ decisions to study computer science. Students who receive positive reinforcement are three times more likely to go into computer science, and the window for making this impact occurs before age 14. Therefore, children need exposure to computers at a young age.

Is it realistic for both women and men to enter computer science and related fields?

Yes. Harvey Mudd College demonstrated that women are as capable as men in computer science (CS). They introduced CS courses with different names: “Introductory Java” became “Creative Problem-Solving in Science and Engineering Using Computational Approaches,” and changing the course name reduced intimidation due to lack of prior exposure. Classes were structured to become collaborative and team-oriented (which appealed to women who found the stereotypical loner geek programmer unappealing). The percentage of women in CS increased from 10 percent to 50 percent. The solution was to create an environment where women can flourish.

Why aren’t more women in computer science?

Women think differently than men. Because women want to avoid mistakes, they may become frustrated when their code does not work. Because men see learning programming as a trial-and-error process, they don’t see code not running as a reflection of their skills. Adding check-points to affirm success can build women’s confidence.

Since socialization and collaboration are important to women when selecting careers, they may feel isolation until more women enter the field. Women need role models. Programs like Girls Who Code address this gap. They encourage girls to take advanced placement (AP) classes in high school, which positions them to study technical disciplines in college. Seventy percent of students who took the AP exam say they want to work in computer science; this shows the importance of early exposure in framing career aspirations.

Attracting women to technology is the first step toward developing women in CS. The second step is building an inclusive culture that offers career advancement and encourages them to remain in CS. Women leave technology companies at twice the rate of men. Early intervention and education will begin to close the gap between women and men in CS. Female students who have visible, female role models in CS careers and receive encouragement from parents and teachers can increase the likelihood that they pursue additional CS courses and degrees (2017 Gallup poll). To thrive in business, women need a collaborative culture with role models.

ShareSpace Education donates 50 Giant Moon Map™ packages to 50 schools and museums around the world

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Childer are standing on a giant map of the Moon while a teacher explains what they are seeing on the map

The Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF) announced its ShareSpace Education has named 50 global recipients of its new Giant Moon Map™ program.

Launched in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, this one-of-a-kind educational tool sparks creativity in students while they learn STEAM concepts and celebrate one of humankind’s greatest achievements. The donation is collectively valued at more than $240,500.

“As we move closer to the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, there is a renewed fascination with this historic achievement,” said Dr. Andrew Aldrin, president of AFF. “The response to the launch of the Giant Moon Map™ program a few months ago was phenomenal, with more applications than we ever imagined. Everyone clearly sees how it’s the perfect tool to help teach today’s youth about that moment in time, while helping them build a love for STEAM-based concepts. Our goal is that this initial donation of 50 maps will only be the beginning.”

Giant Moon Map™ packages will be distributed to schools and educational institutions in 45 states, including: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. In addition, packages were awarded to 5 schools and educational institutions in Canada, Germany, India and Mexico. Click here to see the full list of recipients.

Each ShareSpace Education Giant Moon Map™ program package includes either a 25’ x 25’ vinyl map of the Moon or a 15’ x 15’ one. Both sizes also come with 15 Welcome to the Moon books and the Moon Map educational activities package. Through a new partnership with AstroReality, the kit now includes a 120mm 3D model of the Moon. The model features augmented reality technology that enhances interactions on the map through each of the Apollo mission patches, teaching students about the six landing sites where 12 humans have walked on the moon. The package features authentic, fun lessons and activities designed especially for students ages 10 to 14, and access to in-person and online program training from ShareSpace Education.

AFF worked with donors to make the 50 Giant Moon Map™ packages available for distribution. The program launched in April at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Convention in St. Louis. Applications from individual schools, school districts and informal education organizations were accepted through May 18, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 10 launch. All applications were reviewed by an independent team of judges with the aim of distributing the packages to educational institutions where they can do the most good, especially in underserved communities.
 
For more information, visit sharespace.org/giant-moon-map/.

About the Aldrin Family Foundation

The Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF) strives to cultivate the next generation of space leaders, entrepreneurs and explorers who will extend human habitation beyond the Earth to the Moon and Mars. AFF’s STEAM-based educational tools, educational activities and programs span from a child’s first classroom experience through graduate school and professional programs. This vertical pathway unites explorers at all levels to learn from each other’s vision for space, ultimately creating the first generation of Martians.

About ShareSpace Education

ShareSpace Education, one of the key organizations within the Aldrin Family Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating children’s passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) by providing innovative, interactive educational tools to schools, teachers and information educations throughout the United States and abroad. Founded in 2016 by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, ShareSpace has reached more than 300,000 children and continues to grow its impact each year.

Google announces literary activities to help kids evaluate and analyze media as they browse the Internet

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Mom and dughter looking at a tablet together

Google is pleased to announce the addition of 6 new media literacy activities to the 2019 edition of Be Internet Awesome. Designed to help kids analyze and evaluate media as they navigate the Internet, the new lessons address educators’ growing interest in teaching media literacy.

They were developed in collaboration with Anne Collier, executive director of The Net Safety Collaborative, and Faith Rogow, PhD, co-author of The Teacher’s Guide to Media Literacy and a co-founder of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. Because media literacy is essential to safety and citizenship in the digital age, the news lessons complement Be Internet Awesome ’s digital safety and citizenship topics.

Overview of new activities:
1. Share with Care: That’s not what I meant!
● Overview: Students will learn the importance of asking the question: “How might others interpret what I share?” They’ll learn to read visual cues people use to communicate information about themselves and to draw conclusions about others.

2. Share with Care: Frame it
● Overview: Students will learn to see themselves as media creators. They’ll understand that media makers make choices about what to show and what to keep outside the frame. They’ll apply the concept of framing to understand the difference between what to make visible and public online and what to keep “invisible.”

3. Don’t Fall for Fake: Is that really true?
● Overview: Students will learn how to apply critical thinking to discern between what’s credible and non-credible in the many kinds of media they run into online.

4. Don’t Fall for Fake: Spotting disinformation online
● Overview: Students will learn how to look for and analyze clues to what is and isn’t reliable information online.

5. It’s Cool to Be Kind: How words can change a picture
● Overview: Students will learn to make meaning from the combination of pictures and words and will understand how a caption can change what we think a picture is communicating. They will gain an appreciation for the power of their own words, especially when combined with pictures they post.

6. When in Doubt, Talk It Out: What does it mean to be brave?
● Overview: Students will think about what it means to be brave online and IRL, where they got their ideas about “brave” and how media affect their thinking about it.

Expanding resources to families
YMCA
We teamed up with the YMCA across six cities to host bilingual workshops for parents to help teach families about online safety and digital citizenship with Be Internet Awesome and help families create healthy digital habits with the Family Link app. The workshops, designed for parents, coincide with June’s National Internet Safety Month and come at the start of the school summer holidays.

Continue on here to read more.

Tech with a twist: Innovative youth program combines coding and dance

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Group of diverse girls dancing in the danceLogic studio

Numbers, stats and creativity are all integral parts of choreography — but they’re vital for coding, too. That’s the idea behind danceLogic, a program in Philadelphia that integrates dance and computer programming for 13 to 17-year-old girls.

“With dancing, you have to look at the steps and figure out how do they fit into one another. Same with coding,” said 14-year-old Nailah Shabazz, adding “basically, if I see myself coding and helping others, I think I can also bring in other people who look like me, to also want to pursue that field.”

For 14-year-old Lauryn Dorsett, the dancing part came easy – the coding, not so much. “The coding part is sorta hard at first when you think about it,” Dorsett said. “But once you really grow into it, and stay with it for a while, it starts to get easier.”

When she realized how much money she could potentially make with the skills, Dorsett said, she was even more intrigued. “Not all fields offer the same type of opportunities,” she said. “You can get far with this.”

Franklyn Athias believes that opportunity is everything. While working as a senior vice president at Comcast, Athias started danceLogic in 2018.

Originally, Athias only planned to focus on coding – but “he had trouble getting [kids] to participate,” according to his friend and co-founder Betty Lindley.

Lindley, who runs a cultural center, suggested he incorporate dance.

Athias wants people who might be intimidated by the math and science behind coding to understand that it’s like any other skill. “It’s always hard in the beginning,” he said. “This is why the dance part is so important, because a lot of young ladies came in and could not dance. But they practice.”

That’s what happened with Shabazz, who said she “inherited two left feet” from her father. “If I have the confidence to dance in front of a bunch of people and not be afraid of making mistakes, then I have the confidence to accomplish whatever goals I have in life,” she said.

“Something they thought was hard now became easy, right?” Athias said. “And it was all because of practice. It wasn’t anything else besides, ‘let’s try it, let’s get it wrong, let’s try it again and then boom.’ The smile comes on your face and say, ‘I got it, Mr. Franklyn.’ When that happens, he said, “the world is theirs.”

Athias wants danceLogic to help give back to the community. “I came from a very rough neighborhood, and someone introduced me to something that kept me out of trouble,” he said. “If I can help motivate some other person to do the same thing that’s the reward I get outta this.

When the girls finish the 14-week program, they’re rewarded too. Athias gives them iPads, so they can keep coding – he has no doubt they’ll keep dancing.

DanceLogic costs $50 total for the 14 weeks. The West Park Cultural Center, which runs the program, says it will never turn away anyone who can’t afford the cost. The center offers scholarships, too.

Continue on the CBS News to read the complete article.

Virtual Training Tackles Fires

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firefighter putting out fire

When on the scene of a fire and other emergency situations, a firefighter’s work can be dangerous. When not in an emergency, firefighters remain on call at fire stations, where they sleep, eat, and perform other duties during shifts that often last 24 hours. Many firefighters work more than 40 hours per week.

Instead of dangerous, expensive, traditional training that firefighters normally have to go through, however, they can now tackle fires in a safe and realistic way.

FLAIM Trainer® family of solutions are next-generation firefighter training systems, which comprise an immersive virtual reality environment combined with realistic scenarios, patented force feedback system, breathing apparatus, real nozzles, and heated personal protective clothing to provide a unique training and engagement experience.

This safe, low-cost, mobile and distributed solution can simulate a range of fire events and conditions for training firefighters. With virtual reality, firefighters can train more, train better, and train anywhere.

Sources: Darley, Flaim Systems

Is AI the Next Great Art Movement?

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AI image with two computer simulated brains facing each other and art in the background

For decades now, computers have been used to automate routine and tedious tasks. But what lay outside the ability of computers was to simulate the human intelligence and, even beyond that, artistic creativity.

Technology has evolved to the point that artificial intelligence (AI) can now “learn” from an artist, recognizing elements of the art created by that person and then creating its own. What, then, is the meaning of art? In 2018, the first AI-created art work—originally projected to sell for $7,000–$10,000—was sold for $442,500. Since then, many artists have started exploring the creative potential that AI can bring to the world.

Sougwen Chung: Machine-Generated Art

Chinese-born Sougwen Chung is an internationally renowned multi-disciplinary artist, who uses hand-drawn and technologically reproduced marks to address theSougwen is painting on a canvas draped table with a small robot on the table closeness between person-to-person and person-to-machine communication. A former research fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, she is also a current Artist in Residence at Bell Labs and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. Sougwen is one of the pioneering artists of her generation—her art challenges the imagination through its minimalist yet dramatic form. The former Artist in Residence at Google has explored innovative ways to utilize virtual reality as a medium for storytelling and rapid prototyping. Sougwen’s art speaks of movement and change and reflects images of nature in a truly modern setting.

Source: sougwen.com, viridianartists.com and voanews.com

Why your business needs cyber liability insurance

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cybersecurity

By Joseph E. Guimera

While cyberattacks against large companies, such as Target, Home Depot and Experian, dominate the headlines, smaller companies also face computer liability risks. Most, if not all, businesses use email, text message or social media; provide products or services through a website; send or receive documents electronically; or store and use company, customer or employee data.

If the data you maintain is compromised, either through a cyberattack, or even through a lost or stolen laptop or smartphone, your business can be held liable. In addition to possible damages, restoring or repairing the data can be costly. Your business could be exposed to:

  • Costs incurred by customers and third parties as a result of the incident.
  • Costs in repairing or replacing computer systems or lost data.
  • Loss resulting from your inability to remain operational while your system is down.
  • Costs for notification expenses to customers as required by your state’s notification requirements. Some states require notification if a data breach is even just suspected.
  • Regulatory fines if your business has failed to meet state or federal compliance requirements.
  • Damages and attorney’s fees from lawsuits, including class action lawsuits, if you have a large number of customers.

Traditional commercial general liability insurance policies exclude cyber risks from their terms. Damage to electronic data doesn’t qualify as property damage under a CGL policy. Also, most CGL policies contain a specific electronic data exclusion, which eliminates coverage for claims based on the loss, damage, corruption, or inability to use data.

Some standard business insurance policies, such as a Business Owners Policy (BOP), may provide limited coverage for certain types of cyber incidents. For example, if you lose electronic data as a result of a computer virus or hardware failure, the BOP insurance may pay recovery or replacement costs. However, for extended coverage for cyber liability risks, you will need a cyber liability policy customized for your business.

Cyber liability policies vary widely from one insurer to another. Some insurers have developed special policies for specific businesses such as healthcare providers or technology companies, while other insurers allow the customer to purchase only the coverage they need.

Many cyber liability policies cover both “first-party risks” and “third-party risks.” First-party risks are the losses suffered by the insured as a result of the cyber incident, including income lost and expenses incurred due to a full or partial shutdown of computer systems; cost of restoring or reconstructing lost or damaged data; cost of notifying affected customers as required by law, and the cost of providing credit monitoring to affected customers; cost of paying ransomware; and cost of hiring legal, public relations and computer consultants.

Third-party risks include the business’s potential liability to clients or to governmental or regulatory entities, including lawsuits or claims from third parties resulting from the data breach and governmental fines.

Cyber liability insurance can be a great asset to a business trying to cope with, and respond to, a breach. Businesses should take the time to learn what coverage they have and what coverage they need to ensure they are adequately protected.

The Evolution of WALKING

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picture of the OroBOT

Using the fossil and fossilized footprints of a 300 million-year-old animal, an interdisciplinary team that includes scientists from EPFL and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin have developed a method for identifying the most likely gaits of extinct animals and designed a robot – OroBOT – that can recreate an extinct animal’s walk.

This innovate study of animal biomechanics using robots can help researchers better understand how vertebrate locomotion evolved over time.

Using the fossilized skeleton and footprints of Orobates pabsti – a vertebrate that, on the evolutionary tree, comes between amphibians on one hand and reptiles and mammals on the other – OroBot was created. Drawing on experimental studies of four living amphibian and reptile species, they used these tools to gauge how plausible different ways of walking were for the fossilized animal.

Source: EPFL